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Syllabus News Update for Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Syllabus News Update:
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News for Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004

*National Facilities Inventory to Chart Campus Infrastructure
*U. Alberta Pact to Develop Grid Computing Access Tools
*Open Source to be Featured at College Programming Face-Off
*Fastest University Supercomputer to get Upgrade (Already)
*Team to Make Courseware for Fed Environmental Agency

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National Facilities Inventory to Chart Campus Infrastructure

The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) said it
would launch a national campus facilities inventory (CFI) to
provide administrators and planners access to a comprehensive
database about postsecondary facilities in the U.S.

"The CFI survey will track the physical size and growth patterns
of U.S. colleges and universities over the next decade," said
survey administrator, Phyllis Grummon, SCUP's director of
planning and education, who said SCUP was looking to increase
the number of postsecondary participants in this survey.

Colleges and universities that participate in the 2004 survey,
which is open until March 19, 2004, will be given complete
access to allparticipating institutions' data in exchange for
information about their campus facilities. Non-participants
from postsecondary institutions and businesses that support
higher education can purchase a report that provides
comparative space data by institutional size and type.

More than 100 postsecondary institutions, with more than 360
million net assignable square feet, responded to the first
survey in 2003. The 2003 CFI executive summary can be
downloaded as a PDF at

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U. Alberta Pact to Develop Grid Computing Access Tools

The University of Alberta has signed a three-year joint
agreement with the government of Alberta and high-end
computer-maker Silicon Graphics Inc. to create tools that would
enable colleges and universities to access high-performance and
“grid” computing projects more easily.

In grid computing, the Internet is used to interconnect
geographically distributed supercomputers, computer clusters,
storage systems, and visualization systems, and present them as
a single, unified resource. The new tools will enable chemists,
physicists, biologists and health-care researchers to fully
exploit high performance platforms as well as increase the size
and complexity of the problems that they can carry out.

Under the deal, the Alberta Government and SGI will each provide
funding of $225,000 towards the project. SGI will also support
the project with $100,000 of in-kind use of equipment. The
University of Alberta will provide $50,000 as well as $169,000
worth of researchers and equipment.

Open Source Featured at College Programming Face-Off

The world's best college software programmers will gather for
the finals of the Association for Computing Machinery’s
International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), to take
place in Prague, Czech Republic from March 28 to April 1,
2004. Organizers said 72 teams will tackle a semester's worth
of computer programming in under five hours. This year’s
contest will be the first in the IBM Corp.-sponsored contest
series to feature open source technologies, including Linux and

Fastest University Supercomputer to get Upgrade (Already)

Virginia Tech said it would upgrade its PowerMac G5 supercomputer
cluster with Apple's recently introduced Xserve G5 servers,
which hold two chips in each box. The new system, which went
online at the end of last year, will be completed by May. By
moving to the thinner servers, the supercomputer will consume
less power and generate less heat, said Srinidhi Varadarajan,
assistant professor of computer science, college of engineering,
at Virginia Tech.

Team to Make Courseware for Fed Environmental Agency

The Monterey Institute for Technology and Education signed a
deal with education software developer NexLearn LLC to create
courseware for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA). The multimedia-based material, created for Advanced
Placement environmental science courses, will explore coastal
and marine resources and climate-related events. The course
will consist of a series of self-contained learning modules
accessible via the NOAA Web site and CD-ROM. The content will
adhere to the Advanced Placement curriculum standards to ensure
that the course is accurate and educationally sound.

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